Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just Found Some New Ancestors...

... more German emigrants. I'm starting to think I'm more German than anything else. Although I'm still pretty Scottish.

Christopher Heydrich and his two brothers came from Germany on the ship Robert and Alice (or Robert and Oliver, depending on the source) in 1738. Nif-teeeee.

In this e-book about the Hetrick family, Christopher's signature can be seen and a little more background is given about his family and the circumstances which may have brought him and his brothers to America.

This search started last week when Michelle and I were cemetery-geeking and we found some Hetricks buried in our cemetery. I looked them up in the census and in the Ancestry family trees - not the most reliable source, but a place to start - and sure enough, the Hetricks in the cemetery are related to me. Probably. I feel good about having just cleaned up their headstones (here's one picture).

Other German names in my family tree:
Schneeweiss (who took on the Swedish name Kyn, which became Keen)

All but Schneeweiss and Heydrick/Hetrick are on my dad's side. It's been fun to find that my mother is part German as well. Here we thought she was all U.K.

Have you ever considered how unique we all are? That if one name changed on your family tree, you'd be a completely different person? It's that exact combination of ancestors and DNA that makes you who you are. The only people you share that with are your siblings, and even they are made of a slightly different combination of those same genes. Without sounding too cheesy - it's mind-blowing to me, how very special we are, how no two people on this earth have ever been or ever will be exactly alike.


  1. We have Germans in our family. My Mom's biological father came over from Germany as a child...so I am 1/4 German right there. However, I think that after WWII the part of Germany that his family was from ended up being given to Poland. We have always had a really hard time finding any of our German lines. We have Aultman/Altmann and Michel for last names and that is it. Pretty much all we have is my Grandfather's parents and one set of Grandparents.
    We have German in other lines as well...

  2. Tom's fairly german on his Mom's side...Onigkeit. They came over in the first World War. And apparently changed it to sound less German, lol. On the other side it makes an excellent password prompt, I mean who is going to get that one right?

  3. good heavens, my FIL's g-grandmother (catch that? LOL) was a Keen (Caroline, daughter of Enoch & Mary 'Polly'). We could be related.

  4. ok, on the link for 'descendants of Elijah Keen', there is this sentence: "He was the bondsman for Matthias Keen and Rachel Brown on 4 Sep 1813 in Washington Co., Tennessee."

    what does bondsman mean in this usage? the Matthias and Rachel in question are my FIL's g-g-g-grandparents. Matthias' son was Enoch, who was the father of Caroline, who was the mother of FIL's grandpa. I think I have my generations straight. LOL